The Voice to Parliament Referendum

Posted in Statements on 22 September 2023

In May 2017 more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates from all over Australia signed the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Born from 12 Indigenous-led regional dialogues, its call for Voice, Treaty, and Truth is the result of the most proportionally significant consultation process of First Nations peoples Australia has ever seen.

It acknowledges First Nations sovereignty of this continent and adjacent islands under ancient laws and customs.

It acknowledges the ancestors who lived on this land over the last 60,000 years.

It draws our focus to the spiritual nature of sovereignty – the “ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom…

The Uluru Statement proposes recognising Indigenous people as First Nations in the Constitution of Australia and by doing so allowing this ancient sovereignty to shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.

“We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.”

The Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities Board strongly endorses a First Nations Voice being enshrined in the constitution. We urge Australians to vote yes.

Public response to the statement’s invitation to the Australian people and call for constitutional recognition was followed by the Labor Government’s decision to call a referendum.

It has revealed community division and uninformed commentary has had a profound impact on First Nations peoples.

Debate on this question has raged for months and as the vote nears it is reaching fever pitch.

DASSH is a member organisation comprised of 43 universities in Australia and New Zealand Aotearoa. We have more than 250 individual members who represent diverse institutions and academic staff.

Their faculties and departments have produced some of the most important and trustworthy resources to inform Australians as they prepare to cast their vote.

We urge you to exercise your democratic right to have a say on Australia’s constitution by informing yourself in the lead up to this vote.

  • Thomas Mayo and Kerry O’Brien 2023 The Voice to Parliament Handbook. Melbourne: Hardie Grant. Also available in an audiobook.
  • Megan Davis and George Williams 2023 Everything You Need to Know About The Voice to Parliament. UNSW Press, Sydney.